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Julie Ann E.

Padua 2012 Section 2C Soriano

March 24, Comm. Wilhelm

Samalio v. Court of Appeals G.R. No. 140079. March 31, 2005


Ponente: Corona, J. Facts: On February 2, 1993, Weng Sai Qin, a Chinese with Uruguayan passport was taken to Augusto R. Samalio, Intelligence Officer of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID), because Immigration Officer Juliet Pajarilla suspected that her passport was fake. Sensing a demand for money in exchange for her passport, Qin flashed $500 in front of Samalio which the latter grabbed. Samalio returned Qins passport but without an immigration arrival stamp. Thereafter, Qin complained against Samalio. On February 4, 1993, the City Prosecutors Office of Pasay City, through its resolution No. 0-930224, recommended that Samalio be prosecuted for Robbery and Violation of Section 46 of the Immigration Law before the Sandiganbayan. In an Indorsement Communication dated February 9, 1993, former NAIA General Manager Gen. Guillermo Cunanan enclosed a copy of the said resolution. Thereafter, BID Commissioner Zafiro L. Respicio issued Personnel Order No. 93-179-93 commencing an administrative case against Samalio for violation of CSMC No. 46 Rule 2 Section 1 and requiring Samalio to submit his answer to the charges together with supporting statements and documents, and whether or not he elects a formal investigation if his answer is not considered satisfactory. In the same Personnel Order, Samalio was preventively suspended for 90 days since the charge against him involves dishonesty, oppression and misconduct. Samalio attempted to lift his preventive suspension but was struck down. In his Answer, Samalio denied the charges against him and elected a formal investigation if the same was not found to be satisfactory. His answer contained the affidavits of his witnesses namely Rodrigo Pedrealba, Dante Aquino, Florencio Austria and Winston Vitan. Since his answer was found to be unsatisfactory, the case was set for formal hearing before the Board of Discipline of BID. On July 25, 1996, BID Acting Commissioner Ramon J. Liwag, issued the decision finding Samalio guilty of the charges and was ordered dismissed from service. In the first Indorsement dated August 30, 1996, former Justice Secretary Teofisto Guingona, Jr. confirmed the penalty of dismissal. The Motion for Reconsideration was denied in a Resolution dated June 2, 1997. Guingonas decision was appealed to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) but the CSC in its Resolution No. 974501 dated November 26, 1997, dismissed the appeal and affirmed the decisions of Acting Comm. Liwag and Secretary Guingona. A subsequent Motion for Reconsideration was likewise denied by the CSC. Samalio filed a petition for review before the Court of Appeals but the latter dismissed it; hence, this petition for review. Issue: Whether or not Samalio was not accorded due process. Held: No. Due process in an administrative context does not require trial-type proceedings similar to those in courts of justice. Where opportunity to be heard either through oral arguments or through pleadings is accorded, there is no denial of procedural due process. A formal or trial-type hearing is not at all times and in all instances essential. It is not legally objectionable for being violative of due process for an administrative agency to resolve the case based solely on position papers, affidavits or

documentary evidence submitted by the parties as affidavits of witnesses may take the place of their direct testimony. In this case, Samalio was heard through the various pleadings which he filed with the Board of Discipline of the BID when he filed the answer and two motions to dismiss, as well as other motions and papers. He was able to participate in all stages of the administrative proceeding. He was able to elevate his case to the Secretary of Justice and subsequently, to the CSC by way of appeal. Hence, Samalios denial of due process cannot be invoked since he was given the opportunity to be heard on his motion for reconsideration.